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Friday, April 25, 2008

TV should show crazy baseball fans but not political attack ads

Dave Winer: The crazy baseball fan rule - The Huffington Post:
"Every so often a beer-drunk fan will run on the field during a baseball game causing a delay while the cops chase him down. Back in the days of streaking sometimes these fans would run out on the field naked.

You'll never see one of these scenes on TV because there's a rule that the broadcasters are not allowed to follow the drunk baseball fan onto the field. If they were to broadcast the drunk fan, the theory goes, that would just encourage more people to do it, meaning more delayed games, annoyed players, offended fans and busted streakers.

It seems to me this very simple rule should be adopted by news networks when it comes to the most hideous attack ads.

Example. The North Carolina Republican Party has yet to spend a dime running a racist attack ad against Obama, one that McCain and the national party swear they don't want them to run. But millions of TV viewers have seen the ad, repeatedly, run for free on CNN, MSNBC, Fox, etc. This seems grossly unfair, and how does it not count as a campaign contribution?"

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